The New Zealand Commerce Commission has given the green light to food giant Kraft Heinz’s acquisition of Suntory food and coffee business Cerebos Gregg.

But for the AUD290m (US$228.1m) deal to go ahead it will have to sell the licences for the Gregg’s brand of tomato ketchup, steak sauce, barbecue sauce and the F. Whitlock Worcestershire sauce brand to meet competition concerns.

Kraft Heinz already owns competitor products in the market under the Wattie’s, Heinz, Lea & Perrins, HP, and Gourmet brands and offered to sell off Cerebos Gregg’s products in this segment in December.

The deal is being done through Kraft Heinz subsidiary Heinz Wattie and has had to be cleared by competition authorities in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore.

In New Zealand, Cerebos Gregg’s supplies sauces under a number of brands including Gregg’s and F. Whitlock & Sons. The sauces are produced at its manufacturing plant in Australia.

Its owner, Japan’s Suntory Beverage & Food, operates throughout Australasia.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

The Kraft Heinz deal does not include Cerebos’ fresh coffee business, trading as Suntory Coffee.

The Commerce Commission said it considers the divestment offered by Heinz Wattie to be sufficient to remedy the competitive harm the merger would cause.

Commission chair Dr Mark Berry said: “We believe the merger of the number one and two wholesale suppliers to supermarkets of red sauce, barbecue sauce, steak sauce and Worcestershire sauce would be likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in each of these markets. 

“However, we consider the divestment offered by Heinz Wattie’s is sufficient to remedy the competitive harm the merger would cause and we have given clearance to the merger subject to the divestment undertaking.”

It said it is satisfied that are no competition issues for the company’s Asian sauces, condiments, chilli sauce, soy sauce gravies and powdered beverages caused by the  transaction.

In New Zealand, Heinz Wattie manufactures and supplies jams, dressings, soups, sauces, beans, spaghetti, canned fruit and vegetables, frozen meals, pates and dips.